On April 20, Ginger Hardage, our Senior Vice President Culture and Communications, and I attended an awesome lunch at the Trammell & Margaret Crow Asian Art Museum here in Dallas to receive recognition as one of the "Texas 9," a grouping of top companies named by U.S. Trust as part of their Socially Innovative Companies portfolio. We were named for our environmental stewardship and attention to our People. We were among such great companies as Dell, Kimberly-Clarke, Waste Management, Whole Foods Market, ConocoPhillips, JCPenney, Texas Instruments, and Spectra Energy.
Governor Rick Perry was there, and one of his remarks made me think a lot about Southwest. He said "freedom breeds innovation."I think that is why Southwest has been so successful—along with giving America the Freedom to fly, Freedom has always been an underlying theme at Southwest. We are free to do the right thing for our Customers, for each other, and for our Company. We have the Freedom to live the Southwest Way, one of which is to innovate. A lot of our environmental initiatives start as innovation—winglets, engine washing, the Green Plane, electric ground support equipment, etc. We try innovative ways to save the Company money, reduce waste, and conserve resources. I was proud that Southwest Airlines was recognized as a good investment because of the good works we do. Having a focus on the triple bottomline, reporting with transparency, and doing well by doing good all factored into our being named one of the "Texas 9."
Ginger accepted the award on behalf of the Employees of Southwest Airlines, and I think she said it best when she said that this award was because of each and every Employee who makes an effort to use gate services, who recycles onboard and in our Stations, who gives back to their communities, and who makes a difference each and every day. Congratulations Southwest on, again, doing well by doing good.